How Much Land Does Prince William Really Own?

By: Beth Moreton | Published: Apr 04, 2024

As the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, Prince William is now the owner of a large area of land throughout the U.K.

But there have long been many questions as to how much land he owns and how much money he makes from this land.

Prince William Owns the Duchy of Cornwall

As he is now the Duke of Cornwall, a role he inherited from his father King Charles, Prince William now owns the Duchy of Cornwall.

Prince William in a horse and carriage waving at a crowd as he goes by.

Source: Robert Payne/Wikimedia Commons

This means that William is in control of the land and any properties or dwellings that are part of the Duchy of Cornwall.

The Duchy of Cornwall Is Mostly Outside of Cornwall

Despite what the name suggests, most of the land that is part of the Duchy of Cornwall isn’t actually in Cornwall.

A map of the UK. The red and purple dots are what is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Source: A loose necktie/Wikimedia Commons

A lot of the land is in Devon, with various other parts of it being scattered around the rest of the U.K., and consists of 52,449 hectares of land, per the Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy of Cornwall Owns Some Famous Landmarks in the U.K.

Some of the land included in the Duchy of Cornwall is home to some famous landmarks in the U.K.

The Oval cricket ground in London, UK. Some cricketers are on the field and a crowd of people are watching them in the stands.

Source: Mark Percy/Wikimedia Commons

The Duchy of Cornwall owns land in Kent, Oxfordshire, and even Greater London, with one of the buildings owned in Greater London being the Oval cricket ground, according to Who Owns England.

The Duchy of Cornwall Is Worth £1 Billion

When Queen Elizabeth passed away, this is what led Prince William to become Duke of Cornwall, and with this, he inherited a hefty amount of land and money.

The Royal Dutchy Hotel in the Duchy of Cornwall. The hotel is grey and in front of it is a stone wall. There is a blue flag flying outside the building.

Source: Christine Matthews/Wikimedia Commons

ITV has reported that the Duchy of Cornwall is reportedly worth around £1 billion, which is around $1.27 billion. 

Prince William Doesn’t Make Any Profits from the Duchy of Cornwall

Despite the Duchy of Cornwall being worth $1.27 billion, Prince William isn’t expected to make any profits from it.

Prince William greeting crowds of people and smiling. One person is holding the flag of Malaysia.

Source: AD Vedder/Wikimedia Commons

William will only receive the annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall, which is currently £24 million ($30.5 million), according to The Daily Mail


The British Royal Family Was Previously Bankrupt

You might not expect this from a royal family, but in 1760 when George III was king, the British royal family was bankrupt.

King George III wearing his Coronation robe on his Coronation day. The rob is gold with white fur, a gold chain, and white bows.

Source: Allan Ramsay/Wikimedia Commons

This meant that most of the land owned by the royal family was passed on to the British government, except the Duchy of Cornwall remained in the royal family, along with the Duchy of Lancaster, as they weren’t worth anything.


Only the Eldest Son Can Become the Duke of Cornwall

Much like the rule that only the eldest son would be heir to the throne, which was only changed in recent years, only the eldest son of a monarch can become the Duke of Cornwall.

Prince George and Prince William at an event. They are both pointing upwards at something in the sky.

Source: Londisland/Wikimedia Commons

This means that when King Charles dies and Prince William becomes king, his eldest son, Prince George, will inherit the role of Duke of Cornwall and the Duchy of Cornwall that comes with it.


The Duchy of Cornwall Has Doubled in Size Since the Victorian Era

Many might think that royalty owning the Duchy of Cornwall is an old tradition that is no longer a big deal, but the land owned by the duchy has doubled since the Victorian era.

A map of the south of the UK. The map is light brown and some red dots and circles show the areas owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Source: Geordie Bosanko/Wikimedia Commons

In the Victorian era, the Duchy of Cornwall was around 29,992 hectares, according to an archived version of The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland from 1883.


The Duchy of Cornwall Is the Largest Private Landholding in England

It might only make sense to some that the future King of England should own the largest private landholding in England.

A carpark and view of some fields that shows some of the Duchy of Cornwall. There are cars, fields, trees, and a sign showing where to park in the photo.

Source: Michael Garlick/Wikimedia Commons

However, this involves a lot of transparency to gain the trust of the U.K. public. This also means showing concern for the environment, providing affordable and attractive quality housing, and creating long-term value. 


Prince William May No Longer Have the Public’s Trust with the Duchy of Cornwall

Part of gaining trust with the Duchy of Cornwall is to have affordable housing, but with recent plans for new housing on this land, these are said to be not so affordable.

Prince William in a crowd of people looking annoyed. There are some photographers and reporters behind him holding cameras.

Source: ohsarahrose/Wikimedia Commons

The plans suggest that only 40% of the proposed housing development will be affordable, which puts into question how much trust the British public will have in Prince William should this go ahead.


Prince William’s Tenants Cannot Buy Their Properties

The royal family can exempt themselves from a few laws and reforms, one of which applies to the Duchy of Cornwall is the 1967 Leasehold Reform Act.

Duchy of Cornwall offices in Newton. It is an old building and is behind a stone wall and gate. There are some trees alongside the office building.

Source: Rick Crowley/Wikimedia Commons

This exemption happened under King Charles when he was Duke of Cornwall and means that residents living in properties on the Duchy of Cornwall estate are unable to buy their homes, even though people living outside of the duchy can do so, according to The Guardian.


Prince William Is Actively Involved with the Duchy of Cornwall

It may be assumed that Prince William would be too busy to oversee the Duchy of Cornwall, and that it is managed by someone else.

Prince William in a suit looking off to the side away from the camera.

Source: Pat Pilon/Wikimedia Commons

However, Prince William is actively involved in managing the Duchy of Cornwall, something that many other Dukes of Cornwall have done before him.